Split: Hostel Back Pack Sack
Get There: Starceviceva 7. Buzz the doorbell marked “hostel” and you will be let in.
Cost: HRK185 – 200 (35-38AUD)
Free WiFi: Yes
Free Breaky: Technically no, but the owner shares her food with everyone, and the kitchen is always overflowing with treats.
Bar: No need for that, dear hobos – there’s a fridge full of booze.
Hospitality has never been a word synonymous with “hostel” until Suzi opened Back Pack Sack all by herself (well – her pink-bowed white fluffy dog Lara also helped). This zany, sparkling wonder woman – who speaks five languages and has lived all over the world – can host 21 guests in her spotlessly clean and brightly decorated abode near Croatia’s National Theatre, and you should count yourself lucky if you’re ever one of them. None of the usual hostel protocols are in place – towels are free, and if you’re a girl, you’re given two so that you can wash your hair. The fridge is always stocked full of booze that is free for everyone – beer, wine, and Suzi’s favourite, bottled sex on the beach. Most nights, she cooks her guests dinner. YES – YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. Suzi works around the clock to make Back Pack Sack a home away from home, even choosing to sleep in the lobby each night on a fold-out bed so that she is always around to help. She knows all her guests by name, and if you sleep in a bit or are too hungover to check out on time (read: you wake up at 5pm), there will be no extra charge.
The morning I arrived, it was a guest’s birthday, and Suzi waited until he drunkenly stumbled from his room to present him with a chocolate cake. I’m not talking some shitty $4 number from Woolies – I mean a Jamie Oliver masterpiece covered in slivers of chocolate. A group of guys were standing outside lost on the street after a failed booking.com experience with an apartment next door. Suzi welcomed them in with open arms, force-feeding them beers and a delicious dinner. Apparently a few days before I’d checked in, a girl had sobbed when she left. Some people have whinged that the location of the hostel is too far, but they’re just lazy: it’s a 15-minute walk from the train and bus station, just five minutes from the beach and mere metres from everything you could ever need in Split: a supermarket, a chemist, a Brazilian waxer and a bottlo. My mind has officially been blown, and I give Back Pack Sack 11 out of 10.
Gemma Clarke is the editor-in-chief of Global Hobo. She spends her time contracting tinea in foreign countries, taking afternoon naps and drinking red wine through a straw.